The Michigan Legislature has approved a new budget that cuts funding to Planned Parenthood. The new provision would stop money for family planning and reproductive services from going to any group that also performs abortions.
This budget now heads to Governor Snyder’s desk for final approval.
Lori Carpentier is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. She spoke with Stateside about implications of these potential cuts.
Carpentier has been working in family planning for 33 years, and she said this move does not come as a surprise.
“I recognize it for what it is, and that is a political, expedient move without regard for what the actual consequences would be for Michigan women and families,” Carpentier said.
Governor Snyder has said before that a ban like this may be unconstitutional, putting him at odds with the Republican-dominated state legislature.
“The Michigan Constitution doesn’t allow you to put little language in the budget that amends actual statutes,” Carpentier said. “And in our view, its black and white — that's what this does.”
Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life Michigan, also spoke with Stateside. She does not believe the constitutionality of the provision will be an issue, and argued that Planned Parenthood is already ineligible for state funding.
“We disagree because Public Act 360 of 2002 clearly says that the department shall prioritize its family planning spending to non-abortion providers,” Marnon said. “It's never been challenged as unconstitutional law. For 16 years, it's been on the book, and Planned Parenthood in its own statement said they provided 70 percent of Title X family services last year in the state, so clearly it's not being followed.”
But Carpentier argued that claim is based on a misinterpretation of the law.
“The grant is a federal grant that is passed through the state," Carpentier said. "MDHHS has indeed followed the law, and that is precisely my point, and Genevieve does not get it.”
This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry.